Emmett Mountain

Home

Plan B takes us to Emmett Mountain.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Our original plan was to drive to Black Lake, hike through Joe's Gap, and climb Emmett, White Mountain, and a couple others (if possible). Roughly 10 miles and a ton of gain. I had visited this area a couple years ago with Tom, so although this was to be new terrain, I knew sort of what to expect.

But not much past the Smith Mountain lookout, the road did a little dive under the north side of an east-west ridge, and we were dead in the water. The entire road was covered by a steeply-sloped drift.

No problem- I had plan B of Pyramid Peak. But I got overruled by the boyz, who liked the looks of Emmett Mountain, the peak on the far left. It's really not that much shorter than the other peaks in the photo; it's just a long, long way away. If you look closely, you might be able to pick out the trail traversing the hillside.

Trailhead

So we marched down the road to the trailhead. Except there were two trails. Which one? Art had a topo from 1957, and it was missing a few critical details.

Trailhead

But after a few minutes of heated argument (aka 'discussion') we were off on this one.

Trailhead

This is a really nice trail. Very pretty area. Good tread. Not a lot of elevation change (at least in the first few miles).

Trailhead

Then the trail turns a corner and starts moving up into a broad valley.

Trailhead

And as it moves up, it also moves deeper into the mountains. That's White Mountain on the left, a possible target today.

Note that once you turn this corner, water sources were plentiful. We had a leisurely lunch at one of them.

Trailhead

The trail eventually leads to Joe's Gap, situated between White Mountain and another peak and overlooking Six Lake Basin. After more of that discussion stuff, we skipped the two peaks and headed for Emmett, on the far left. Doesn't look so little from here. But still looks a long way off.

Trailhead

Still following a pretty good trail, we marched off across the basin. The trail leads to the north side of what has become today's target, but the north face looked to be really steep, although we couldn't really see it.

So instead, we opted for a little cross-country work and what appeared to be an elk trail climbing right-to-left up the meadowy area on the left.

Trailhead

Well, "meadow" indeed, if you like hiking a 45° hillside.

Above that, it mellowed considerably. And the views were fantastic. The little peak or bump on the horizon just right of center is Smith Mountain Lookout. Our rig is parked a little to the left of that.

Trailhead
Another view of Six Lake Basin. Trailhead

Summit.

Trailhead

From here, you can see well into Oregon. That dry-looking rim is Hells Canyon, and the snowy peaks are the Wallowas.

Just south of this view we could see Big Lookout Mountain, in which Art expressed an interest.

Trailhead

Map

 

And Dave's blog with most excellent photos, davefaitlemonde

 

Trailhead

Home | 2019 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski